He said, she said : how people judge sexual harassment cases in the absence of evidence

Kernaghan, Scott (1997) He said, she said : how people judge sexual harassment cases in the absence of evidence. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Previous work suggests that judgements of guilt or innocence in cases of sexual harassment are often based on the relative attractiveness of the defendant and the complainant. The present study hypothesized that, in addition to the role of attractiveness, the consistency of the defendant's perceived attitudes with sexual harassment may contribute to these judgements. In a 2 (accusation/no accusation of sexual harassment) X 2 (defendant's attitudes consistent/not consistent with sexual harassment) between subject's design, 160 undergraduates at Memorial University of Newfoundland rated the likelihood that an undergraduate male student had committed sexual harassment. Participants also rated their attraction to the target, completed a semantic differential evaluation, and gave estimates of social consequences for the target. Finally, participants indicated their own position on the attitudes ascribed to the target. The results indicated that targets holding attitudes consistent with sexual harassment were rated as more likely to be guilty of such behaviour than targets holding attitudes not consistent with sexual harassment. Participants whose attitudes were similar to the target's attitudes rated him as less likely to have committed sexual harassment. A consistency model is postulated which may augment the model of relative defendant and complainant attractiveness.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1283
Item ID: 1283
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 56-59.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Sexual harassment; Judgment; Prosecution--Decision making

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